In 2000, sixteen years after starting at WPXI, Dennis Bowman’s contract wasn’t renewed and he left the market for a job in Topeka, Kansas. Three years later the Bowmans returned to the Pittsburgh area. Ironically the house they had sold was on the market again, but it was out of their price range. So they found a house in Bellevue and soon began Dennis Bowman Enterprises – creating a weather-related program for schools joined by Dennis’ alter-ego ‘Chester Drawers’.
In 2005, KDKA-TV (2) came calling and Bowman was on board as a freelance meteorologist during vacations and maternity leaves. Otherwise, he was self employed. “The downtime was great,” Bowman told the Post-Gazette, “you might have a week and a half where you weren’t busy, and if I wanted to plan a trip or something, I could.” Bowman went on to say that there was a downside to working for yourself. “When you don’t work, you don’t get paid any money by anybody.” That’s why Bowman is very thankful to have the new full-time morning gig at KDKA. He will still do school visits, but now on behalf of KDKA and will fold his own company. His wife, Debbie, will take on a program of her own offering education about bees.
Aside from adjusting the sleep schedule, Bowman adds that the morning shift is a little more casual than the evening newscasts at WPXI. “We know people are just waking up and starting their day with us, looking forward to that first cup of coffee. We have a chance to be bright and cheerful and share a laugh with them along the way.”